I wish I could take it all back. I honestly do. I honestly do wish I could take it all back. And not just cause I'm stranded in space. (I'm in space.) I know you are, mate! Yep. We're both in space. (SPAAAAAAAAACE!!!!!) Anyway, if I was ever to see her again, you know what I'd say? I'd say... I'm sorry! Sincerely. I am sorry that I was bossy... and monstrous... and... I am genuinely sorry. The end.
~ Wheatley with the Space core.

Remorseful Villains are characters who feel sorry for their past actions, but have not necessarily "turned good".

It is important to note that, with almost every of these characters, their remorse can eventually lead to their redemption (though this is not always the case, as seen with Packie McReary). However, redeemed villains can no longer fall under this category. Some of these villains may also move to another evil plan (usually a less evil one).

There are several reasons a villain can feel remorse, which includes:

  • Feeling terrible for exceeding in their misdeeds, they may not truly redeem themselves in some cases but still they show real concern about their actions and the consequences that affect others and the villain themselves (Big Brother of Five Nights at Freddy's 4King Salazar from Wakko's Wish, etc.).
  • For helping another villain far more evil than them, unaware that they were tricked and then get eventually betrayed once they are not of their use.
  • Having committed atrocities in the past and now showing concern in the present on how to fix everything they've done. Benny is an example.
  • Realizing their schemes didn't go as they wanted and now want to either solve it with help of the heroes or do it themselves. Shou Tucker in the 2003 anime series of Fullmetal Alchemist is an example.
  • Admitting that they were wrong all along about what they thought and believed. Count Bleck from Super Paper Mario and Judge Hopkins from ParaNorman are examples.

IMPORTANT: this category is solely intended for villains who have genuine remorses but don't redeem themselves anyway. Do not forget that Pure Evils CANNOT be remorseful by definition as they completely lack empathy, never feel bad about their wrongdoings and are utterly remorseless. Therefore, if villains feel ANY remorse at all, then they're never completely monstrous, even though they may never completely redeem themselves due to their acts.

Also, the following villains should not be added to this category, even if they are not Pure Evil:

  • Those who pretend to show remorse for their actions in an attempt to let the hero's guard down and kill them - these should go under Cowards instead. (Example: Dr. Eggman pretends to apologize to Sonic in Sonic Unleashed, but then Sonic realizes it's a trap, and then gets turned into a werehog.)
  • Those who give a sarcastic apology to their foes (they should go under Faux Affably Evil instead). (Example: Ernesto de la Cruz.)
  • Those who merely regret for not being able to commit the crimes, or merely the failure of their crimes, instead of regretting over their evil actions. (Example: Henry Bowers from the 2017 film adaptation of IT said to Mike Hanlon that he was sad over not being the one who killed Mike's parents.)
  • Or look like they're feeling bad for their actions, but then proceed to try to attack/kill the hero(es) anyway. (Examples: the Lemons from Cars 2. Mater tries to talk some redemption into the Gremlins, Pacers, Trunkovs and Hugos that "becoming rich and powerful beyond their wildest dreams ain't gonna make them feel better." While it does look like they are realizing they were wrong, one gremlin raises a machine gun and tries to kill the heroes anyway because it's "worth a shot!".)

See also

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